U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue, presented remarks on the state of American Business today at a National Chamber Foundation event in Washington, D.C.. In his remarks, Donohue says he is cautiously optimistic that the recovery will continue and pick up steam as the year progresses. Overall, he says, the economy will expand by 3.2 percent in 2011 and create 2.4 to 2.6 million net new jobs by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Donohue says housing and construction are still very weak and a new wave of home foreclosures could drive down real estate values and household wealth. In the address, Donohue took a look around the globe at what other nations are doing to improve their economies and indicates that in many cases, America is not keeping up. “Other countries are signing trade deals, forming alliances to share natural resources, and rapidly developing their own domestic energy supplies. Some are cutting taxes and regulations, pushing legions of young people through science and engineering schools, and building brand-new infrastructure in a fraction of time that it takes to build anything here.” Donohue also zeroed in on regulations the Chamber says are a roadblock to business. “At the federal level alone, regulations already fill 150,000 pages of fine-print text and cost Americans $1.7 trillion a year,” Donohue says, adding that in recent years, we have seen an unprecedented explosion of new regulatory activity. “The resulting regulatory tsunami poses, in our view, the single biggest challenge to jobs, our global competitiveness, and the future of American enterprise.” Specifically addressing Frank-Dodd, Donohue says the Chamber is particularly concerned that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau not use its broad authority in ways that deny small businesses and consumers the credit and financial products they need.